The Detroit Metro

Here it is – a revised version of my Detroit Metro concept. Visit the map-specific page for a lot more about this map and the process of creating it. And if you’re from Detroit / southeast Michigan and have a suggestion for the map, let me know in the comments below.

Also check out the link to the right if you’re interested in a t-shirt or print from Zazzle.

Here’s an inverted color version. What do you think?

Detroit Metro Inverted

12 Responses

  1. liz January 29, 2014 / 6:12 pm

    I’d like to see one of the lines run through Downriver and all the way down to Toledo.

    • Jackson January 30, 2014 / 3:42 am

      I love the idea of connecting Detroit and Toledo too. But, when making this map I decided it would probably work best as commuter rail like what the folks at Freshwater Railway ( have proposed. Similar to the separate El and Metra systems in Chicago, Detroit would ideally have both types of service. Local metro for getting around town with closer stops, and commuter rail for easily going longer distances to surrounding communities like Toledo, Ann Arbor, Port Huron etc.

  2. Sarah K. January 29, 2014 / 9:46 pm

    This is beautiful! I live just north of Detroit (Ferndale) and this is the most complete, well thought out plan I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a few floating around about what might work best). Since I was a little kid, I’ve lamented the lack of a train in Detroit – there are so many great things about this city, but all the wonderful pockets and areas in and out of the city are so disconnected from one another because of our lack of a transit system.

    • Jackson January 30, 2014 / 3:51 am

      Thanks for your compliments, Sarah! I visited Detroit last August and have to agree with you. There are indeed a lot of amazing things to see in and around Detroit (much more than it usually gets credit for), but the lack of an easy way to travel between them holds the area back.

      If you still have links to any of the other plans you’ve seen, please feel free to share them here. I’m sure I and anyone else reading would be really interested to take a look!

  3. JEFF January 30, 2014 / 7:33 am

    Exceptional! Well thought out and International! – I can literally see something like this coming to fruition. All cities, including Windsor are important, and integral parts of the Detroit Regional Metroplex. Mike Duggan, are you listening?

  4. Marc January 30, 2014 / 12:54 pm

    I like it. A few critiques would be that it misses some pretty big western suburbs (Farmington, Novi, Livonia) but transit can’t cover everything. Even in a hypothetical situation, it would be nice to see Michigan Central Station used as a major hub, especially for an international crossing which I have to say is probably the most awesome part about this map. A lot of people never consider Windsor but it is very much part of the Metro-Detroit world. Thousands of Canadians come over the border every day for work in the Detroit region. Well done, just wish someone higher up would implement it!

    • Jackson January 30, 2014 / 1:23 pm

      Glad you liked it! And adding Windsor was probably my favorite part.

      A line out Grand River to Novi/Farmington would probably be my major addition to the map if I were to go back and revise the whole thing. But I wanted to keep the system just a little bit “realistic” in the sense of not outlining a Chicago-sized network in Detroit, and I thought the purple S line added more value to the system than another radial line into downtown. Still, I completely agree with you that it’s one of the places a truly comprehensive transit network for the area would need to cover.

  5. Matthew Sawyer January 31, 2014 / 9:58 pm

    This map is awesome. I concur with the sentiment of others here — it is very complete, logical and well thought out. Having ridden the Metro in Washington, DC, I can see your map bears a lot of resemblance. It covers most of the suburbs and thus makes a very practical, realistic mass transit system for 90% of those who live in the region. If I worked downtown, it would be nice to only have to drive a few miles to a train station.

    Your vision for a Detroit Metro would reduce the traffic on our roads, thereby reducing wear and tear on them (and attendant maintenance/repair costs), and also reducing our carbon footprint. Being a fairly snowy region, a rail system would be less impacted by bad weather. All around, I think your proposal is a winner!

    This is something that the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) should take a good, hard look at. It would be nice to see some big players step forward to get funding behind this.

    • Jackson February 3, 2014 / 3:05 pm

      You’re exactly right, there’s a strong DC influence on my design. I couldn’t help it after riding the Metro there every day for four years!

      Really glad you liked the map so much and hope it inspires thinking about the kind of transit system SE Michigan deserves.

  6. Michael June 9, 2014 / 2:25 pm

    That is some map, great job…your quite talented…

  7. Nixill July 22, 2014 / 5:27 am

    What roads do the lines run on/near? It seems the Cadillac (northeast of downtown) runs along Gratiot, putting the Macomb Gardens station just a ten minute walk away from my house at 10 Mile Road.

    • Jackson July 22, 2014 / 8:34 am

      Hi Nixill,

      Absolutely right about the Cadillac line. There’s more detail on this map’s specific page (see the menu at the top of the site) but basically the roads are:

      Woodward – Woodward/Jefferson
      Ambassador – Coolidge Hwy/Woodward/Wyandotte (Windsor)
      Michigan – Michigan/Jefferson
      Ford – Michigan/I-94/Van Dyke
      Cadillac – Fort/Gratiot
      St. Clair – Southfield/10 Mile/I-696
      Ontario – Wyandotte/Ouellette/Tecumseh/Walker

Comments are closed.